Article Title

Legal Implementation of a Satellite City Plan: The Planned Disposition of Public Land

Publication Title

Urban Law Annual


Many metropolitan areas are preparing master plans to guide their future development. Such a plan has been prepared for the metropolitan area of Memphis, Tennessee, by the professional staff serving the combined Memphis and Shelby County Planning Commissions. Like most plans, the Memphis plan contains maps and text depicting future land uses, growth patterns, and population distribution. Like most plans, the Memphis plan does not discuss the legal problems of effectively implementing its goals. Also like many other plans, including the now-famous plan for the year 2000 for Washington, D. C.,4 the Memphis plan projects a pattern of regional growth along radial corridors which contemplates the development of a series of metropolitan subcenters. This paper will explore some of the legal difficulties associated with the implementation of plans for one of these subcenters-the development of a satellite city on 5000 acres of presently undeveloped public land.